Ireen Wüst clinched her career 22nd World Cup gold in the 1500m in Tomakomai on Saturday. Nao Kodaira grabbed yet another 500m win and Bo-Reum Kim edged out Francesca Lollobrigida in the Mass Start Sprint.
Wüst beats Takagi and Bowe in 1500m
Ireen Wüst (NED) captured her career 22nd 1500m World Cup win in Tomakomai. Miho Takagi (JPN), who was unbeaten in five World Cup 1500m races last season but came second last week in Obihiro, had to settle for silver again. Last week's winner Brittany Bowe (USA) took the bronze medal.
Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA), who came third in the B Division last week, was promoted to the A Division and set a high bar in the second pairing already. She just did not managed to stop the clock under two minutes when she clocked 2:00.01. Here time stood until Wüst was the first to break the two-minute-barrier stopping the clock at 1:58.742 in the eighth pairing.
Miho Takagi and Antoinette de Jong (NED) challenged Wüst's time in the penultimate pair, but Takagi came more than half a second short with 1:59.28, and De Jong finished in 1:59.95 to take fourth place, just ahead of Lollobrigida, who ended up in fifth place.
In the final pairing last week's winner Bowe exploded from the start. The 30-year-old American was ahead of Wüst in all split times until 1100m, but she couldn't maintain her pace and finished in 1:59.82.
Bowe kept the lead in the 1500m World Cup ranking with 108 points. Takagi came level in points and Wúst retained third place with 103 points.
Wüst on her way to gold ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Business as usual for Kodaira
Nao Kodaira (JPN) was not as fast as she had been on Friday, but 38.26 seconds was more than enough to secure her second 500m win of the weekend. Vanesse Herzog (AUT) took her fourth consecutive silver medal in 38.56, while Brittany Bowe (USA) took her second bronze medal of the day, after the 1500m.
Kodaira and Herzog extended their lead as one and two in the 500m World Cup ranking. Olga Fatkulina (RUS) came sixth on Saturday and dropped to fifth place in the ranking behind Angelina Golikova (RUS) and Bowe.
Kodaira takes yet another 500m gold ©International Skating Union (ISU)
Bo-Reum Kim wins Mass Start
Without last week's winner and Olympic Champion Nana Takagi (JPN) and Oympic bronze medalist Irene Schouten (NED) the ladies' Mass Start field seemed to be decapitated, but Bo-Reum Kim (KOR) was present to take the honors.
Esmee Visser (NED) was the first to set-up an attack in a race that was hampered by many crashes in the back of the bunch. Claudia Pechtstein (GER) countered and Visser never really managed to get away from the pack. Her compatriot Mellissa Wijfje took over the lead in the penultimate lap, while the bunch was gearing up for a final sprint. Francesca Lollobrigida (ITA) went to the front for the final lap and was still in the lead on the final straight, but Kim came from behind to edge her out on the line and take the gold medal. Lollobrigida got silver and Ivanie Blondin (CAN) came third.
Bo-Reum Kim took over the lead from Nana Takagi in the Mass Start World Cup, with Lollobrigida in second and Blondin in third. Takagi dropped to ninth place and Schouten to 14th.
Bo-Reum Kim celebrates with Lollobrigida and Blondin ©International Skating Union (ISU)